By Bonkung Handerson
Mending broken marriages and those showing cracks has been the driving purpose for the Centre for Clinical Pastoral Education and Social Services (CECPES) in recent times. Discovering and knowing yourself, the Centre holds, is key to resolving most intra and interpersonal conflicts. From this premise, CECPES has redoubled its efforts, albeit the challenges, to train and enlist more pastors, final year seminary students, church leaders, social workers and the laity (mostly teachers) in the crusade of counseling affected clients in their milieu and referring difficult cases to the Centre in Bamenda.
August 5, 2016 witnessed the graduation of the second Night Extended Unit of 16 students; 8 each from Douala and Banso, 15 Summer Unit CPE students from Bamenda and 82 marriage enrichment counselors from the three centres. The colourful graduation held at the Director of Health Services (DHS) Conference Hall at the Baptist Centre is Bamenda in the presence of CBC and Full Gospel Mission leaders, family members and well-wishers. The ceremony held under the theme, “The courage to face self can lead to recovery and fruitful ministry” from Isaiah 6.
Speaking on behalf of the CBC Executive President (EP), Rev. Ncham Godwill who was chairing the Ministerial Council meeting next block, the Administrative Assistant to the EP, Rev. Ngala Godlove described the CBCHS as the pride and miniature of the CBC as she does not only provide healthcare, but also, carters for people holistically through programmes such as CECPES. The EP’s representative hailed the involvement of other denominations and challenged the graduating students to go and operate in line with the theme in Isaiah 6.
The DHS, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih said the reflections presented by some of the students earlier on are telling of the transformational nature of CECPES. He said the 31 CPE graduands from the Baptist, Full Gospel and Winner’s Chapel bear testimony of the unity of the Church, for which he challenged them to go and be servant leaders in the community. The DHS equally challenged the marriage enrichment counselors to do their job well and support the relentless task of CECPES to save many marriages from collapse.
Both representatives of the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) Ndu and the Full Gospel Mission (FGM) Area Pastor acknowledged CECPES for giving their students and pastors an opportunity to practice the art of counseling. They appealed for more collaboration with CECPES. While CBTS Ndu prayed for more space for CECPES to enable her accommodate more CBTS final year student pastors, the FGM appealed on CECPES to train more of her pastors in the Bui area.
In a show of humility, the Director of CECPES, Rev. Dr. Ndongnde Godlove washed the feet of some of the students just as Jesus did to His disciples. This was symbolic that the graduating students should go out and exhibit the same attitude of servant leaders
Five of the students shared the reflections of their transformation as CECPES. We shall propose one in its entirety for your appreciation.